A motorcyclist is more at risk than a car or truck driver.
In 2016, in the state of Georgia, 173 people were killed due to motorcycle accidents. The sad truth is that in a motorcycle accident, the motorcyclist is much more likely to be hurt or killed than a car or truck driver. It doesn’t help that there is a stereotypical idea of motorcyclists as rebels or rule breakers. It can be difficult to get the insurance company to even believe the motorcyclist isn’t at fault.
people were killed in 2016, just in Georgia alone.
What are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Many things can cause a motorcycle accident. Some of them include:
- Speeding – When motor vehicle drivers are speeding, it decreases the amount of time they have to act or react to their surroundings.
- Lane splitting or unsafe lane changes – Driving between two lanes or not looking at a driver’s blind spot before changing lanes can contribute to a motorcycle accident.
- Drivers with less experience – Inexperienced drivers are likely to make mistakes on the road.
- Distracted or intoxicated driving – Drivers who are intoxicated or distracted by their phones are likely to cause collisions.
- Hazardous road conditions – Potholes, debris, and crumbling pavement are all examples of dangerous road conditions that can lead to a motorcycle accident.
MORE MOTORCYCLES ON THE ROAD, MORE DEATHS: WAYS TO RIDE SAFELY
With the popularity of motorcycle riding on the upswing in the past few years, more lives are being taken as a result - than ever before. These unfortunate deaths have occurred not only because motorcycle riding is somewhat inherently dangerous, but because riders do not take all proper safety precautions before hopping on their bikes.
Anti-lock braking systems (ABS)
One of these vital precautions, among many, is possessing anti-lock brakes. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, motorcycles with anti-lock brakes are 7% less likely to be involved in fatal crashes than those without them. From an insurance standpoint, the "anti-lock brake motorcyclists" file 22% fewer damage claims per insured vehicle, than individuals with motorcycles of the same models, without anti-locks. When it comes to medical payment coverage, motorcycles with anti-lock brakes registered 30% lower claim frequencies than their non-anti-lock counterparts.
IIHS suggests simply to "equip more motorcycles with anti-locks," because stopping a motorcycle is much more difficult than stopping a car. The front and rear wheels usually have separate brake controls, and in an emergency, the rider must face a split-second decision to either brake hard (which can lock the wheels and cause an overturn), or brake lightly and risk a crash. What anti-lock brakes do exactly is reduce brake pressure when they detect an impending lockup, and increase the pressure once traction is restored. In a nutshell, anti-lock brakes significantly lower the rate of motorcycle accidents, which prevents injuries and deaths.
When the Highway Loss Data Institute analyzed their motorcycle-related data, they uncovered some interesting safety trends related to helmet use, as well as younger riders. They found that motorcyclists in states that require all riders to wear helmets are less likely to file insurance claims for medical treatment after crashes, compared to riders in states with no helmet laws, or where the laws apply to certain but not all riders. Simply put, helmets reduce head injuries, the leading cause of death among un-helmeted riders. Georgia has a universal helmet law requiring helmet use for all riders (operators and passengers).
Motorcycle Training Programs
Regarding motorcycle riders under the age of 21, HLDI found that the frequency of insurance collision claims is 10% higher in states that require riders this age to take a training course prior to becoming eligible for a motorcycle license, compared to states that don't require training. Although this difference isn't statistically important, it seems to contradict the notion that training courses actually reduce crashes. A probable explanation of this is that riders in some states are fully licensed once they finish training. This might shorten the permit period so that riders end up with full licenses earlier than if training were not required. Although Georgia does not require a motorcycle training course in order to receive a license, the bottom line is that initial training can only help you - and even if you're an experienced rider, taking a refresher course is definitely a responsible practice to get involved in.
Another healthy practice for you as well as your bike is taking it for regular tune-ups. According to notable online motorcycle accidents statistics source, around 3% of motorcycle accidents are due to vehicle failure.
WHAT ARE COMMON MOTORCYCLE INJURIES?
Because motorcyclists are so exposed and lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, there are often severe injuries associated with motorcycle accidents. Some of these injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Loss of limbs
- Severe burns
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, the best thing you can do is talk to a personal injury attorney. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you gather crucial evidence to prove liability in your case. Motorcycle riders are among the vulnerable users of the road and are often at greater need for legal protection when they have been involved in an accident. Contact us to discuss your case.
WHY DO I NEED A LAWYER AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
Here are some of the most typical ways that a lawyer can help you after a motorcycle wreck:
Investigate the details – First, your attorney will research your case. This may include taking photographs of the scene and the damage to your motorcycle, collecting statements from any nearby witnesses, researching the driving records of the other driver, analyzing your medical records, reviewing police reports and collecting evidence to strengthen your case.
Calculate the damages – Damages are any losses from a collision that may be compensated, and they can include special damages (lost wages, medical bills, repairs, etc.) or general damages (pain and suffering, mental anguish, lifelong disability, etc.).
Generate a fair insurance claim – After thorough research of the case, your attorney and legal team will prepare a demand package that states all your injuries and damages. Additionally, an experienced attorney will examine each case carefully and investigate all additional potential avenues of recovery that a client may not be aware of like UM/UIM coverage.
Negotiate with the insurance company – Unfortunately, insurance companies often want to save money and pay the least amount possible. This is one of the reasons it’s so important to contact an attorney before speaking with the insurance company. Two of our attorneys at Hagen Rosskopf used to work for defense law firms representing insurance companies so they know how insurance companies evaluate personal injury claims. They know what it takes to push back against the insurance adjustors to get you the settlement you deserve.
Represent you in court – Sometimes negotiations are not successful, and you will need to take your case to court. In this situation, a personal injury trial attorney will represent you and present your case to a judge or jury. Working with an experienced trial lawyer who is comfortable in the courtroom, and who has a deep understanding of the litigation process can make the difference in the outcome of your lawsuit.
The attorneys at Hagen Rosskopf have spent years honing their skills as personal injury litigators in Magistrate and State courts in counties all over Georgia. Their trial and litigation experience allow them to fully understand the value of your case, advise you of your options for your unique situation. An experienced trial lawyer can better serve you. The insurance companies know that Hagen Rosskopf is a litigation law firm that is not afraid to take negligent drivers to court.